Better known as the Mon-Fayette Expressway, Pennsylvania 43 entails a series of toll roads and pre-existing freeway segments from the West Virginia state line, east of Point Marion, to Jefferson Hills, south of Pittsburgh. The toll road first opened between U.S. 40 and Interstate 70 on October 19, 1990. The southernmost section followed and was completed by March 1, 2000 between Gans Road (Exit 2) and U.S. 119 (Morgantown Road). This toll stretch joined the Chadville Demonstration Project (Morgantown Road north to U.S. 40 southwest of Uniontown), a freeway built by PennDOT and transferred to the Turnpike Commission when it was finished in 1993.1

Further work on the Mon-Fayette Expressway focused on the toll road north from Interstate 70 to Pennsylvania 51. This stretch opened initially between I-70 (Exit 36) and Coyle Curtain Road (Exit 39) near North Charleroi on May 11, 2001 and overall to Pennsylvania 51 at Jefferson Hills on April 12, 2002.1 The south end included two miles of unopened freeway from Gans Road to the West Virginia State line. WVDOT connected that roadway with its portion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway finally on July 11, 2001. This portion continues the numbering as West Virginia 43 to Interstate 68 by Cheat Lake.

The most recent construction of Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 concluded on July 16, 2012 involving the Uniontown-to-Brownsville link. Built at a cost of $882 million, the 17-mile segment first opened in 2008 between U.S. 119 and Pennsylvania 51 at Uniontown and Redstone Way, southeast of Brownsville. The second phase included a 3,022 foot $95-million bridge over the Monongahela River and the bypass of Brownsville to the Pennsylvania 88 freeway west of Denbo.2 A detailed history with many more photos and maps found at Jeff Kitsko's excellent PAHighways web site.


Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 north
Welcome to Pennsylvania sign posted as West Virginia 43 transitions to Pennsylvania 43 just north of the Ruble Run bridges. The Mon-Fayette Expressway lines a hill just above Springhill and adjacent Pennsylvania 857 (Springhill Furnace Road) to the east. Photo taken 06/24/12.
A parclo interchange (Exit 2) joins Pennsylvania 43 with Gans Road in one mile. Gans Road was the south end of PA Turnpike 43 until 2011. The road ends at Pennsylvania 857 to the east and leads west to U.S. 119 (Morgantown Road). Photo taken 06/24/12.
A second welcome sign on the Mon-Fayette Expressway northbound heralds the Pennsylvania Turnpike as America's First Superhighway. Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 is part of the overall toll road system. Photo taken 06/24/12.
The West Virginia portion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway is currently toll free. The free portion of the roadway concludes at Gans Road from the south. Photo taken 06/24/12.
U.S. 119 follows Morgantown Road west from Gans Road at Morris Crossroads to Locust Hill and Point Marion on the Monongahela River. Northward the route ventures to Smithfield. Photo taken 06/24/12.
Following the Exit 2 off-ramp, trailblazers direct motorists to Pennsylvania 857 and U.S. 119. PA 857 continues southwest to Cheat Lake and Morgantown as SSR 857 in West Virginia. The state route shadows the Mon-Fayette Expressway for its 11-mile drive north to U.S. 119 at Chadville. Photo taken 06/24/12.
Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 south
The final reassurance marker for Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 south. Photo taken 06/24/12.
One exit remains on the Mon-Fayette Expressway south at Cheat Lake. The freeway ends otherwise at Interstate 68 in six miles. Photo taken 06/24/12.
The high level Rubles Run Bridge comes into view as Pennsylvania 43 approaches the West Virginia state line. Photo taken 06/24/12.
A Pennsylvania Turnpike sign thanks drivers for taking one of their toll roads as PA 43 transitions into WV 43. Photo taken 06/24/12.
Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 scenes
The connection between Interstate 68 and the Mon-Fayette Expressway entailed a drive along Pennsylvania 857 and West Virginia Secondary 857 (Fairchance Road) between 2000 and 2011. This view shows the first shield of PA 857 (Springhill Furnace Road) just beyond the state line. Photo taken 08/07/04.
Pennsylvania 857 (Springhill Furnace Road) northbound approaches the east end of Gans Road. Gans Road ascends to its interchange with Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 (Exit 2) within one half mile. The turnpike ended prematurely there until West Virginia completed its section of Mon-Fayette Expressway. Photo taken 08/07/04.
Pennsylvania 43 Turnpike trailblazer posted at the Pennsylvania 857 intersection with Gans Road near Springhill. PA 857 continues northward three miles to Haydentown and Fairchance before entering Uniontown. Photo taken 08/07/04.
Gans Road westbound at the northbound on-ramp to Pennsylvania Turnpike 43. The tolled highway reaches Uniontown in ten miles at its junction with U.S. 40 & 119. Traffic to U.S. 119 for Point Marion or Smithfield should remain on Gans Road westbound. Photo taken 08/07/04.
A view of the northbound ramp departure for Pennsylvania Turnpike 43 from Gans Road westbound. Photo taken 08/07/04.
A green and white Keystone shield for Pennsylvania 43 precedes the southbound loop ramp to Cheat Lake on Gans Road west. Photo taken 06/24/12.
Motorists taking Pennsylvania 43 south from Gans Road reach Interstate 68 in six miles. This stretch of the Mon-Fayette Expressway is toll free. Photo taken 06/24/12.
A standard Pennsylvania Turnpike shield for a state route directs drivers onto the Mon-Fayette Expressway south from Bunker Hill Road north, which ties into the ramps at Gans Road. Photo taken 06/24/12.
Gans Road eastbound descends to its end at Pennsylvania 857 (Springhill Furnace Road). A one mile drive takes drivers into West Virginia to the right. There Pennsylvania 857 transitions into SSR 857 en route to WV 43 (Exit 1). Photo taken 08/07/04.
Looking southward at the then-end of the Pennsylvania 43 Turnpike from the Gans Road overpass in southern Fayette County. Photo taken 08/07/04.
Peering westward at the Pennsylvania 43 Turnpike mainline and ramps to and from Gans Road. Concrete barriers prevented motorists from continuing southward on the unopened freeway. Photo taken 08/07/04.

Sources:

  1. Pennsylvania Highways: PA Turnpike 43
  2. "Last section of expressway, bridge set to open in July." Herald-Standard, June 25, 2012.


Photo Credits:

08/07/04, 06/24/12 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 70
West Virginia 43 - Mon-Fayette Expressway

Page Updated 02-06-2013.